Grit Blogs > The Daily Commute

RetroRazor: Low-Tech Approach to a Close Shave

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief


Tags: razors, tools,

Hank Will and Mulefoot piglet.A couple of weeks ago, my publisher tossed a small package on my desk with a verbal message that went something like this: “They sent this to me by mistake.” Huh, I wondered as I took a look at what was inside the plain brown wrapper. To my surprise, the package contained an old-fashioned safety razor called the RetroRazor. Cool as a slab of South Dakota granite, I resisted the urge to race off to the men’s room to see if my beard looked particularly gnarly that day. Within an hour or so, I was able to quell the sick-to-my-stomach feeling that the big-boss might be telling me that he would prefer the fuzz off my face. Luckily, I remembered that I have never met anyone more direct and to the point than the captain of our ship. That’s when I decided to investigate this cool little shaver a little more thoroughly.

The RetroRazor is an awesome way to a close shave.

The RetroRazor is a lot like the device my dad used to hack his face to pieces every morning when I was a kid. Of course it was that he was so stingy with new razor blades that dad so often had those little bits of tissue stuck to his face when he headed out the door to work. I was as impressionable as the next youngster, so when it came time for me to shave – I mean really time – I chose a straight razor with strop. Heck, if the outlaw Josie Wales could shave with a straight razor, so could I. As luck would have it, I managed to avoid seriously injuring myself with the straight razor. I nicked my lip once pretty badly trying to trim-up my dripping-off-the-sides of-my-chin Wyatt Earp moustache, however. It was about then that I decided to enter the high-tech razor world; I’ve been looking for a simple, multi-bladed, fancy-named, tool that I could afford to use ever since.

Well, I believe that I have indeed found just the right razor. Actually my publisher found it and passed it on to me. The RetroRazor is a metalworking piece of art. It is fun to hold, it is beautiful to look at, there are no plastic buttons or snaps or levers to break off, and it uses regular old double-sided razor blades that are inexpensive and readily available. I used the RetroRazor to trim up my beard and shave my cheeks and neck over the weekend and it performed wonderfully. Not only did the RetroRazor work, but it worked better than my triple-bladed wonder with the super-expensive, proprietary blades. I am happy to report that my face, neck and Adam’s apple failed to shed any blood while receiving a close shave with the RetroRazor. This cool old-style shaver is now my all time favorite – so much so that I tossed all the fancy razors in the trash.

I still brood that our publisher was sending me a message when he dropped the RetroRazor on my desk. I suspect he was just being nice. In any case, I am tickled that he turned me on to the RetroRazor – it is the only shaver that, in my book, makes the cut.


Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .